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8 Awesome Chinese E-book Sites to Find and Download Authentic Texts

E-books have much to offer all Chinese language learners.

That’s true whether you’re a reader who loves the feeling of pages beneath your fingers or someone who has only read from a screen since e-readers came out. 

So if you haven’t used e-books yet to boost your Chinese reading skills, listen up!

In this post, we’ll go over eight websites you can use to find the best Chinese e-books, reading recommendations, e-books specifically designed for learners and why digital reading is great for language learners.


8 Great Chinese E-book Sites

1. Best for Popular Books: Weibo Books

Weibo Books offers an excellent selection of world-renowned publications that have been translated into Chinese, as well as original Chinese e-books.

Interesting categories on their site include novels for boys, novels for girls, boutique channel, leaderboard and more.

When you click into any book, you’ll see an overview page with book summary and readers’ ratings.

Click 放入书架 (fàng rù shū jià) to add it to your library (this requires a Weibo account, but it’s free to sign up for one), or click 立即阅读 (lì jí yuè dú) to start reading online.

Interesting stats are provided for every book, including: 浏览 (líu lǎn), the number of people who’ve browsed this book;  (zàn), the number who’ve liked it; and 热议 (rè yì), the number who’ve commented.

Recommended reads:

2. Best for Download Options: QiDian Books

QiDian Books offers a massive selection of online e-books. Unlike Weibo Books, not all of these are published offline.

Check out their featured categories for bestsellers 畅销榜 (chàng xiāo bǎng), popular works 热门作品 (rèm én zuò pǐn), new book recommendations 新书推荐 (xīn shū tuī jiàn) and more.

Click into any book to see 内容介绍 (nèi róng jiè shào), a synopsis. You can get e-book versions for iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows and HTML5.

3. Best for Variety of Content: Amazon Kindle

Amazon offers a selection of Chinese e-books through Kindle. With a Kindle app, you can read e-books on any device.

If you know how to use Amazon, you know how to use Kindle. The Kindle storefront follows the same Amazon format, allowing you to look up titles and browse categories.

There’s a foreign language category where you might find a few good titles. But to browse entirely Chinese books, use the Kindle中文电子书店 (Kindle Chinese e-bookstore) with this link.

Recommended reads:

4. Best for Classical Chinese Literature: Loyal Books

Loyal Books is a free online library. To find their Chinese e-books, scroll down to see “Languages” listed in the left-hand menu, and then select “Chinese.”

Select “e-books” as a filter under the top drop-down menu.

Their selection is small, but all of their e-books are free. You can also stream audio versions of some books.

Recommended reads:

5. Best for Free E-books: Haodoo

The name of the site is a play on 好读 (hǎo dú), meaning “Good Reads.”

Here, you’ll find several categories of online novels:

  • 言情小说 (yán qíng xiǎo shūo) — romantic fiction
  • 奇幻小说 (qí huàn xiǎo shūo) — science fiction
  • 武侠小说 (wǔ xiá xiǎo shūo) — martial arts fiction
  • 悬疑小说 (xuán yí xiǎo shūo) — suspense fiction

Other e-book categories include 世纪百强 (shì jì bǎi jiàng qiáng) — world classics and 隨身智囊 (súi shēn zhì náng) — practical wisdom.

All e-books are free to download. In addition to e-books, you can read web articles under 好读专栏 (hǎo dú zhuān lán) — good reads column.

Recommended reads:

  • “半生缘 (bàn shēng yuán) — Love Story of Half a Lifetime” by Eileen Chang — Chang is the author of “Lust, Caution” and other famous works. This story speaks of two young lovers who, due to trials and family disapproval, broke off their engagement, only to meet again years later.
  • “唐人街 (táng rén jiē) — Chinatown” by Shuo Ming — This is perhaps the earliest book written on the Chinese American immigrant experience. A man from Fujian province arrives on the American west coast to pan for gold. He opens a small laundry shop together with the help of his wife and two children.

6. Best for Authentic Reading: 24 Reader

24 Reader offers a very extensive collection of Chinese e-books written by Chinese authors (not merely translations of English books).

Categories of interest include:

  • 商业 (shāng yè) — business
  • 文学 (wén xué) — arts
  • 亲子 (qīn zǐ) — family
  • 心理 (xīn lǐ) — psychology
  • 教育 (jiào yù) — education
  • 男士 (nán shì) — men’s interests
  • 女士 (nǚ shì) — women’s interests
  • 生活 (shēng húo) — lifestyle
  • 科技 (kē jì) — technology
  • 历史 (lì shǐ) — history
  • 保健 (bǎo jiàn) — health
  • 小说/漫 (xiǎo shūo/màn) — novels/graphic novels

When you click into any book, detailed information is listed, including 来源地 (lái yuán dì), where the book is originally from—for example, 香港 (xiāng gǎng) — Hong Kong. This book would list its language as 繁體中文 (fán tǐ zhōng wén) — traditional Chinese.

The section 内容简介 (nèi róng jiǎn jiè) gives a brief introduction of the book, and 作者简介 (zuò zhě jiǎn jiè) gives an introduction of the author.

If you like a book, go ahead and click the big green button that says 立即购买 (lì jí gòu mǎi) to “Buy Now.”

Recommended reads:

7. Best for Myths and Classics: Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg has a small selection of Chinese e-books.

To find them, search “Chinese” from the homepage.

All e-books are free to download in HTML, EPUB, Kindle and Plain Text formats. Files can also be directly downloaded to your Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive account.

Recommended reads:

8. Best for Learning Material: Kobo

Kobo’s selection is not huge, but there are still many useful resources for Chinese students, including Chinese textbooks in e-book format.

To find them, change the language from English to 中文 (zhōng wén) in the upper right-hand menu.

When you click into any title, you’ll get a synopsis and details about the book, such as the number of pages, time it takes to read and word count. You can then click to purchase.

Recommended reads:

Chinese E-books Specifically for Learners

While the recommended reads above are mostly stories and novels, there are also plenty of Chinese e-books out there for Mandarin language learners.

If you want to keep your learning digital while still utilizing traditional learning materials, here are four great recommendations:

“A Frequency Dictionary of Mandarin Chinese: Core Vocabulary for Learners”

A Frequency Dictionary of Mandarin Chinese: Core Vocabulary for Learners (Routledge Frequency Dictionaries)

The one tool every Mandarin learner needs, at any level, is a dictionary. Chinese-English dictionaries provide easy access to unfamiliar characters.

You can get a physical copy of this book if you’d like, but the Kindle version offers many great features, including notetaking, a search function and a highlighting feature.

This dictionary contains the most commonly occurring Chinese words, so any learner can benefit from this handy resource.

“Hacking Chinese: A Practical Guide to Learning Mandarin”

Hacking Chinese: A Practical Guide to Learning Mandarin

What kind of learner are you? If you prefer a more hands-on approach that covers alternative means of learning Mandarin, then this is the perfect e-book for you.

This guide explores different ways of learning Chinese characters efficiently, as well as how to improve pronunciation and tips for learning on your own. This e-book also features “hacks” to help you make the most of your study time.

“Hacking Chinese” is particularly great for beginners and intermediate learners. It’s also under 200 pages, making it a great short read.

“Mandarin Chinese for Beginners: Mastering Conversational Chinese”

Mandarin Chinese for Beginners: Mastering Conversational Chinese (Fully Romanized and Free Online Audio)

If you’re a beginner learner looking for more formal instruction, or you’d like to get the hang of conversational Mandarin, this is the book to check out.

You can enjoy an immersive experience that teaches you a lot of useful information: what to say in practical real-life scenarios, how to speak Chinese at a proper speed and how to avoid cultural faux pas and speaking mistakes.

This book contains a mix of English and Chinese, with much of the annotations and instructions in English. It’s got all the basics packed into one easy-to-read guide.

“Chinese Blockbuster 1”

Chinese Blockbuster 1: Learn to read simplified and traditional Chinese characters and to pronounce them in Mandarin by bringing their building blocks to life with comedy, drama and memory tricks.

Are you struggling to memorize pronunciations? Do you want to learn more about the composition of Chinese characters? Need to get a better grasp of grammar? This e-book has every tip and trick for learning Mandarin.

While the focus is mostly geared towards beginning learners, it’s packed full of really helpful tips for excelling in Mandarin proficiency.

Any level of reader can benefit from breezing through “Chinese Blockbuster 1,” but the series continues all the way to “Chinese Blockbuster 8” if you need something more advanced.

Why Should I Use E-books to Improve My Chinese?

Here’s what makes e-books a great tool for Chinese learners:

  • E-books are affordable. Many free e-books are available online, and most that are not free are still very inexpensive compared to hard copy books. Many public libraries even have digital libraries now, where you can check out e-books for a period of time for free, just as you would with a physical book.
  • E-books are convenient. You can take your books with you anywhere—on an e-reader, laptop or even smartphone—and read while you commute. Highlight unknown words to copy and paste them into online dictionaries, or copy and paste new words and phrases into a notebook app like Evernote or Apple Notes.
  • E-books work for any level and preference. There’s lesson books, parallel texts and full 汉字 (hàn zì) — Chinese character texts for beginners, intermediate students and advanced learners alike.
  • E-books provide in-context learning. Regular reading practice reviews words you already know, helping ingrain them in your memory. Reading also pushes you to learn new words, idioms and expressions in context, which is more memorable than studying from lists. Additionally, e-books can be published faster than paper books, which lets you stay up to date with your favorite reads.
  • E-books work well with context-heavy resources like FluentU. With the FluentU program, you can learn common words, phrases and expressions and they’re actually used by native speakers. You’ll do this by watching video clips from authentic Chinese media along with learning tools such as interactive subtitles, flashcards and personalized vocabulary quizzes. 
  • E-books get you familiar with written forms. Reading will teach you written Chinese, which is more formal than spoken and conversational Chinese. The newest e-books demonstrate the written forms that are most popular today. Seeing these forms will also teach you sentence flow and structure, helping you internalize grammar.

Perhaps best of all, if you get hooked on an e-book series—like a romance or martial arts epic—you’ll keep coming back for more, building an excellent habit of reading Chinese!


I hope you’ll have fun finding interesting e-books on these sites!

And don’t forget: A little reading every day goes a long way to improving your Chinese.

And One More Thing...

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